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International Partnerships

Voices of women from the Horn of Africa’s borderlands

Challenges related to peace and security, economic development and climate tie most of the countries in the Greater Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda), but this is particularly true in the borderlands, where scarcity of resources, extreme poverty and environmental stress trigger conflict and violence.

A cross-border Ethiopia-Kenya-Somalia project is helping create opportunities for vulnerable communities and expand cross-border trade with the support of the EU.

I want all my children to learn. I feel bad about myself because I did not go to school. If you do not learn now, you will not survive. Learning can get you out of poverty.

Asha Golicha, Moyale

Agents of change

Asha’s situation resembles that of most women in the region: They tend to work more than men, and carry greater responsibilities in taking care of the children and their household, which brings them to show greater solidarity towards each other.

With support from the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), and together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UNDP cross-border programme aims to help those hard-working women become more self-sustaining.

Launched in February 2018, the initiative has created awareness and promoted cross-border trade opportunities for women, such as the One Stop Border Post, allowing free movement of livestock and persons across the border. Since women are for the most part the ones engaged in informal cross-border trade, they are expected to benefit from such opportunities.